"Quick Men, To The Archives!"
Each of Sen. Mitchell's and Mr. Hartgrove's arguments against ratification have been overcome or badly weakened. Still, some of the evidence supporting ratification is inferential; some of the conclusions are only implied. But it's no wonder that there's such an austere sprinkling of hard evidence surrounding this 13th Amendment: According to The Gazette (5/10/91), the Library of Congress has 349,402 un-catalogued rare books and 13.9 million un-catalogued rare manuscripts. The evidence of ratification seems tantalizingly close but remains buried in those masses of un-catalogued documents, waiting to be found. It will take some luck and some volunteers to uncover the final proof.
We have an Amendment that looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and
quacks like a duck. But because we have been unable to find the eggshell
from which it hatched in 1819, Sen. Mitchell and Mr. Hartgrove insist we
can't ... quite ... absolutely prove it's a duck, and therefore, the
government is under no obligation to concede it's a duck. Maybe so. But if we
can't prove it's a duck, they can't prove it's not. If the proof of
ratification is not quite conclusive, the evidence against ratification is
almost nonexistent, largely a function of the government's refusal to
acknowledge the proof. We are left in the peculiar position of boys facing
bullies in the schoolyard. We show them proof that they should again include
the "missing" 13th Amendment on the Constitution; they sneer and jeer and
taunt us with cries of "make us". Perhaps we shall. The debate goes on. The
mystery continues to unfold. The answer lies buried in the archives. If you
are close to a state archive or large library anywhere in the USA, please
search for editions of the U.S. Constitution printed between 1819 and 1870.
If you find more evidence of the "missing" 13th Amendment please contact
David Dodge, POB 985, Taos, New Mexico, 87571.